Weather Blog: The year without a summer, 1816

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This is one of those articles that will leave an impression on you for many years to come.

I remember when I first heard about it, I could not believe it. There was a year that many claim had NO SUMMER. There were certainly warm days, but there were also cool and cold days that summer. Even reports of frost into the south well into June. Crops suffered over much of the country. It created so much hardship it was also named, Summer that Never Was and Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death.

Not much specific weather data is available from that time period and little specific about North Carolina and the impact here. Still, there are several accounts that speak of major issues in Virginia. It is reported that former President Thomas Jefferson suffered significant crop damage from cold that summer at his home at Monticello, Va. This sent him into debt, according to this website.

Global temperatures were 1 to 2 degrees below normal that year, but summer saw a larger departure from normal. The cool down was caused by the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia. It was the biggest eruption in more than 1,300 years.

More information is available here.

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